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Document Abstract
Published: 2005

Emergency obstetric care in Pakistan: potential for reduced maternal mortality through improved basic EmOC facilities, services, and access

Severe lack of emergency obstetric services in Pakistan prevents women from receiving care when it is needed the most
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This article in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, assesses the provision, use and quality of Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) at public health centres in Pakistan’s Pubjab and Northwest Frontier Provinces (NWFP). It finds that of the 170 health facilities in the study, only 22 were providing basic and 37 comprehensive EmOC services and less than six per cent of births occur at these facilities. Government institutions met only nine per cent of the estimated need for care in all the selected districts, meaning that the vast majority of women who had an obstetric emergency did not receive treatment in a government EmOC facility.

The paper concludes that almost all indicators for EmOC were below minimum recommended UN levels. Health policy makers and planners must take immediate, appropriate measures at district and hospital levels to reduce maternal mortality. These measures can include: staff training to increase skills and confidence and to improve management, availability of supplies, and record keeping, as well as with measures to increase the utilisation of EmOC by women suffering major obstetric complications.
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Authors

M. Ali; M. Hotta; C. Kuroiwa; H. Ushijima

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